ABOUT THE COMPANY:
Amazon Flex is a driver recruitment and compensation program developed by Amazon which can help people get paid to drive. It is Amazon’s solution for getting deliveries of a variety of products from their point of origin to the customer who ordered the item in a speedy manner (within two hours or less of ordering).
Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 as an online discounted book retailer. Bezos is still the company’s President and CEO. Upon its overwhelming success in the book market, it later expanded to include all kinds of different products.
The company introduced “Amazon Prime” to the market in 2005. The program was designed to entice Amazon customers to join a subscription program with a small monthly fee. Membership provides several benefits, but the main one is free, 24 -hour delivery of all Amazon orders.
Amazon Prime Now is the next step in Amazon’s business model and marketing strategy. Prime Now offers similar benefits to Prime, but members can receive their orders within a couple of hours or less. Additionally, where available, customers can also order (and have delivered) meals from local restaurants, alcohol and grocery items from local retailers.
OVERVIEW OF BEING AN AMAZON FLEX DRIVER:
If you’re too impatient even for Prime, you can now opt for Prime Now, which is the same concept, except your delivery comes in two hours or less (perfect for those who leave special occasion shopping to the last minute. It’s probably even faster than driving to the mall!) Of course, to pull off this kind of speed, Amazon needs delivery drivers…lots of delivery drivers. In order to fill this massive need in cities across North America, it has introduced Amazon Flex, the flip side of Prime Now. If you’re familiar with the concept behind Uber or Lyft, it’s a lot like those make-money opportunities, but drivers deliver goods, not people. According to their Website, an Amazon flex driver can make $18 to $25 dollars per hour, and you can choose what time(s) you want to work.
What are the requirements for becoming an Amazon Flex driver?
They include (but may not be limited to):
- You must be at least 21 years old.
- You must have a valid US driver’s licence.
- You must have a vehicle that is sedan-sized (four doors) or larger.
- You must own either an Android or iPhone smartphone (so you can use the Flex app). If you have an Android, it has to be running with the 6.0 version or higher and it must have a minimum of 2GB of RAM.
- You must download the Amazon Flex app and be able to use that device every time you work.
- You must agree to a criminal background check (and, of course, the check must come back clean!)
Background checks typically take between two and five days, so you won’t be able to get started until that process is finished. Once it is, you’re ready to start driving!
How does scheduling work for an Amazon flex driver?
Using the app, you must go into the calendar area and select dates and times that you are available for work. This does not automatically guarantee that you’ll get work. Instead, Amazon Flex uses this calendar (the master version with the schedule of all available drivers) and matches up drivers who are available with deliveries that need to be made. They will then send you an offer for a delivery that fits your schedule.
You must respond within a very short time frame and either accept or reject the offer before it expires. If you reject it or do not respond before the expiry time, the offer will be given to another driver. Offers may be sent to you 24 hours (or less) before your scheduled availability, and you may even receive more offers during your availability block. For this reason, when you know that you have submitted an availability time for sometime in the next 24 hours, you must pay attention to your messages so you don’t miss any offers before they expire.If for some reason you will be unable to make a delivery that you already accepted, you may forfeit the delivery within your app up to 45 minutes before your scheduled availability time.
Sometimes other offers will become available throughout the day (the promise of fast delivery is, after all, what entices customers to join Prime Now). These will also show up in your app, and they will be made available to everyone. Those jobs are given on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you want extra work you have to jump on those offers quickly, before another Amazon Flex driver snatches it.
Once you have accepted an offer, whether it was sent to you directly or you saw it on the app, you’ll be sent a confirmation message through the app. You’ll also receive all relevant information, including the recipient’s address and any other pertinent info.
Where does an Amazon Flex driver pick up the item to be delivered?
There are a number of possible scenarios when it comes to picking up the package to be delivered, and they can vary depending on your city. You might be thinking you’ll be delivering parcels containing some type of goods inside, but it’s possible that you may receive offers to deliver restaurant meals, alcohol or even grocery items.
Many of your standard parcel-type deliveries will originate in a Prime Now delivery station located somewhere in your city. (There may even be more than one.) However, it’s also possible that you’ll be picking up items from local restaurants or stores, too. All of this information will be provided to you within the offer, and if there is anything that you don’t feel comfortable with or don’t have the equipment to deliver (perhaps a flat of fresh tomatoes just won’t fit in your trunk) you can simply decline the offer. Obviously, the more types of deliveries you are willing and able to accept, the more money you can potentially make.
When you are given an offer, you’ll be able to see where both the pickup and drop off locations are. Once you accept an offer, you’ll be able to see a map with a suggested route of navigation, either within the app itself or at the location of origination of the delivery.
In what cities can an Amazon Flex driver work?
Currently, Amazon Flex/Prime Now is available in a limited number of major cities in the US. Seattle, WA was its pilot location, and the company has since expanded it to include more than 30 US cities. The company has plans to add more cities within the US as well as other countries in the future. You must reside in a city (or suburb of a city) where Flex/Prime Now is available in order to be an Amazon Flex driver.
How do drivers get paid?
Your app will keep track of the time that you work, and will calculate your earnings for you. You’ll be able to view your current earnings within the app. To get paid, you must provide your direct deposit banking information to Amazon Flex. Your earnings will automatically be deposited into your bank account every Tuesday and Thursday.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT AMAZON FLEX:
In order to gauge whether Amazon Flex is a money-making opportunity worth pursuing, we checked out reviews from other people who have worked or currently work as an Amazon Flex driver. Drivers on Glassdoor.com (a job recruiting site where people can rate their experience working for a particular company) were asked to rate their driving/working experience as an Amazon Flex driver out of five stars. Amazon Flex has an overall average score of a neutral and unimpressive two and a half stars out of five.
Almost all of the more than 180 reviewers provided comments to explain their rating. Of these comments, the most common complaints included excessive wear and tear on their vehicles and the high price of gas ate into their profits, and that deliveries often took longer than the three-hour block of time that they were paid for (which decreased their overall hourly rate of pay). More infrequent complaints included lack of on-site support at each station to answer questions, troubleshoot app issues, etc.; and drivers being blamed (and fired) for packages they delivered which were subsequently stolen.
The most frequent positive comment, by far, was the ability to make money on one’s own schedule. “You can work whenever you want and get a lot of blocks in the beginning,” said a Hawthorne, CA Amazon flex driver, who provided a rating of three out of four stars. “Extremely flexible,” proclaimed a San Diego, CA driver who rated his experience four out of five stars. Other positive comments included “great way to meet new people,” “a fun way to get to know your city better,” and “an easy job relative to the rate of pay.”
On Indeed.com, another job recruiting and review Website, driving for Amazon Flex had a slightly higher rating: three and a half out of five stars. Comments on this site (both negative and positive) echoed the same things as those on Glassdoor.com. An Amazon Flex driver from Chesapeake, VA who rated his experience four out of five stars stated, “when I have work it is awesome.” However, an employee from Columbus, OH who provided a rating of three stars said, “good job great pay, but they hired even more drivers and getting a block [of delivery time] is a pain. Plus now people are using bots on the app. So now there is no work.” The thing that most of the users on this site appreciated the most about being an Amazon Flex driver is that the job was just that: flexible. What many drivers didn’t like was the wear and tear on their vehicles, the cost of fuel and the fact that sometimes deliveries took longer than the allotted time.
OUR VERDICT ON THIS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY:
There’s no question as to whether working as an Amazon Flex driver is a legitimate way to earn money. Some drivers reported making good money (for a side job) while others felt like the profit margin was low. However, there were absolutely no complaints of not getting paid as promised or getting paid late. So, as long as you work, you’ll get paid.
As an Amazon Flex driver, you are pretty much guaranteed to make $18 to $25 per hour. However, it is important to realize that Amazon bases that figure on the amount of time that they estimate a particular delivery should take. Therefore, if your are offered $18 to make a delivery that they estimate will take an hour, and it ends up taking you closer to an hour and a half (for whatever the reason), then, technically, you aren’t actually making a solid $18 per hour. For this reason, you should factor in unexpected delays like heavy traffic, road closures, etc. as a possibility with any offer from Amazon to decide whether the job is worth your time, gas, and wear and tear on your vehicle.
The great thing about being an Amazon Flex driver is the ability to pick your own schedule, as well as the autonomy that you have to accept or reject a particular offer. You have no minimum contract to fulfill, and if you try it out and ultimately decide that the job isn’t for you, you can simply quit.
One thing we like about this income opportunity is the pay structure. As long as you use the app correctly, your earnings are automatically calculated and tracked for you. Not only that, but paydays are twice per week. This is almost unheard of within any job. You’ll never have to wait very long to receive your earnings.
We advise that you don’t quit your day job, but we think that being an Amazon Flex driver is worth trying out as a way to make a side income. Not only that, but you’ll get to know your city and meet a lot of interesting people while you’re working. As long as your expectations of this job are realistic, we recommend giving this money-making opportunity a shot.
GREEN THUMBS UP
PICK YOUR OWN SCHEDULE
GET PAID TWICE PER WEEK
MAY NOT BE FULL TIME INCOME
EXCESSIVE WEAR AND TEAR ON VEHICLE
(Learn more about our rating guidelines.)